Can You Flush Coffee Grounds

Can You Flush Coffee Grounds (+ How To Unclog Your Toilet If It’s Too Late)

Figuring out where to dispose of your coffee grounds can be a frustrating experience.

You might be wondering whether it’s safe or even sanitary to flush coffee grounds down the toilet.

And also what actually happens if you flush coffee grounds down the toilet.

In this article, I’ll explain to you the issues with disposing of coffee grounds in the toilet.

I’ll also be taking you through how you can unclog your toilet of coffee grounds.


Offer you some alternative methods of disposal and uses for old coffee grounds.

Firstly, as a rule, you shouldn’t flush coffee grounds down the toilet. The issue is that the coffee grounds, instead of moving through your toilet, tend to clump and settle. This can cause it to clog. 

Now, some do believe that coffee grounds are useful to your plumbing as they reduce odour.

But as you can see, there are unacknowledged problems when it comes to this. 

It also worsens over time as the coffee grounds continue to absorb oil and food, which restricts wastewater flow. 

What To Do If Your Toilet Gets Clogged

Clogged Toilet

Maybe you’re on this page because you’ve already clogged the toilet, and you’re wondering if the coffee grounds are the culprit. 

They can be, indeed.

What you want to do (if you haven’t done it already), is to avoid flushing the toilet more than once. 

Doing so will just lead to even more water getting pumped into the toilet bowl, leading to a greater overflow.

Your best bet is to start by closing the toilet flapper. This’ll ensure that no more water enters the bowl.

(The water in the tank is clean, so you can just close it with your hands.)

If water is already overflowing, you could put some newspaper or paper towels to soak up the excess water.

You should also ensure that the room is well-ventilated to deal with any odors.

You might be thinking, this sounds great, but how do you actually unclog it? 

Well, I’m getting to this next.

The Good Old Plunger 

Plungers are great at pulling out clogs. 

The best plunger for a toilet is a flanger plunger. They’re actually designed to unclog toilets!

The best way to unclog a toilet is to start slow, and then start plunging up and down. 

A little bit of that motion might be all that is needed to remove it.

You’ll Need Gloves For This 

Man Is Putting On Rubber Gloves

Alternatively, you could get “arms deep” into your toilet.

(It sounds lovely, I know.)

This is the least desirable option but can prove effective if you don’t have a plunger.

You will need elbow-high rubber gloves to protect yourself from harmful pathogens.

You could also try to use some sort of object to try to get it out.

Toilet Enzymes 

If both of the above fails, you could always try purchasing yourself some toilet enzymes.

This eco-friendly method of drain-cleaning helps to clear clogs, prevent backups and reduce odours. 

It’s a little bit of an investment but will be well worth it, particularly if you have a septic tank system that gets clogged up very easily.

Alternative Methods of Disposal

Coffee grounds have their use, and not just racing our heart rate and keeping us awake at night.

Some ideas include:

  • Using the coffee grounds in your compost or bokashi. They’re rich in nitrogen and therefore a great addition. (Even coffee filters are compostable!)
  • You could fertilize your plants with them. They’re a ground source of food for the microbes in your soil.  
  • They also make a great insect repellant. Spreading them around your garden will help you protect your plants.
  • You could also opt to just throw them away in the garbage. 

Rather Safe Than Sorry 

Old Coffee Grounds

It’s better to be safe than sorry and stuck with a bathroom full of toilet water.

A lot of things should just not be flushed down the toilet as they just weren’t designed for that.

I hope that you found my insights helpful and that you’ve either been able to prevent a disaster as a result.

Or rectify one if one has already happened. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you dispose of coffee grounds?

Coffee grounds should either be disposed of in the trash or used in the garden in some way or another. Coffee grounds are very nutritious for the soil and the microbes living in them. 

Can you dump coffee grounds down the sink drain?

In a very small amount, it might be okay. But for the most part, no. Coffee grounds will clog your drain, maybe not immediately. But over time they may make it harder and harder for water to pass through. 

Are coffee grounds good for plants?

Coffee grounds are great for plants and are a great source of food. They’re also high in nitrogen, so they make good compost.